emergency: can't boot! please help

Siegbert Baude Siegbert.Baude at gmx.de
Sun Aug 24 11:45:44 PDT 2003


> Thanks to Luke's suggestion, I'm currently attempting
> to load Linux over FBSD to then attempt to mount the
> NTFS drive, which may allow me to see the contents of
> that drive, to either copy them elsewhere to salvage
> the data, or to determine whether restoring it is
> possible.
> If you (or anyone on the list) have additional
> suggestions or ideas in light of this new scenario,
> please let me know urgently.  Thanks!!!

Do you have a spare disk with at least the same size than your problem 
disk? Then do a byte-by-byte backup first, to prevent even more damage 
during the following experiments. At least backup the MBR with

dd if=/dev/hda of=backup.mbr count=1 bs=512
if you use some Linux bootdisk


dd if=/dev/ad1 of=backup.mbr count=1 bs=512
if you use FreeBSD

First you must know, how your partition table looks like at the moment. 
A good tool to check this, is Linux fdisk from some bootable floppy 
(tomsrtbt) or CD (Knoppix), but any other free DOS tool is as good.
If you don't write changed data back to disk, there is no danger to do 
any damage.
- If there is a valid partition table still on disk, you're lucky.
If I understand you correct, then you had a working Win XP before?
Then I would first try to boot from the XP CD and start the recovery 
console from there. On the command line appearing there, you can enter 
"fixmbr" and "fixboot". I don't know exactly how this will deal with 
corrupt partition tables, however.

- If there is no partition table left on disk, things are more 
difficult. Do you know how (which tool, which size) you partititioned 
your disk in the first place? If yes, then you always have the chance to 
exactly reproduce your disk layout and regain your data by doing the 
same steps again.


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